The Bible passage for meditation, prayer, and reflection for the week of December 24-30, 2017, is Revelation 22:12-21. The final verses of the final chapter of the final book.
“Behold, I (Jesus) am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to each one according to the merit of his deeds (earthly works, faithfulness). I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End [the Eternal One].”
Blessed (happy, prosperous, to be admired) are those who wash their robes [in the blood of Christ by believing and trusting in Him—the righteous who do His commandments], so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs [the godless, the impure, those of low moral character] and the sorcerers [with their intoxicating drugs, and magic arts], and the immoral persons [the perverted, the molesters, and the adulterers], and the murderers, and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying (deception, cheating).
“I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you and to give you assurance of these things for the churches. I am the Root (the Source, the Life) and the Offspring of David, the radiant and bright Morning Star.”
The [Holy] Spirit and the bride (the church, believers) say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take and drink the water of life without cost.
I testify and warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book [its predictions, consolations, and admonitions]: if anyone adds [anything] to them, God will add to him the plagues (afflictions, calamities) which are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from or distorts the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away [from that one] his share from the tree of life and from the holy city (new Jerusalem), which are written in this book.
He who testifies and affirms these things says,“Yes, I am coming quickly.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. The grace of the Lord Jesus (the Christ, the Messiah) be with all [the saints—all believers, those set apart for God]. Amen. (Revelation 22:12-21, AMP)
We are left with a message of hope: Jesus is coming! Are you prepared?
Reflect back on all that you learned this year in our Bible study. Whether you have been with us throughout the entire year, started in middle, or just joined, we hope that you have increased your knowledge and become better prepared, but there is always more to learn! Next week, we begin anew our year-long Bible study. Join us once again as we delve into the Word of God and challenge ourselves. As you meditate on, pray over, and reflect upon this week’s verse, take comfort in the message of hope! Pray also that the Lord prepares you and opens your mind for another year of learning.
The Bible passage for meditation, prayer, and reflection for the week of December 17-23, 2017, is Acts 26:12-18. In this passage, Paul is speaking to Festus, Roman governor of Judea, and King Agrippa, the great-grandson of King Herod, who tried to kill Jesus as a baby. Paul has already appealed, and been granted permission, to take his case before Caesar and is awaiting transport to Rome. In speaking with Festus and King Agrippa, Paul shares with them how he became a follower of Jesus Christ.
“While so engaged, as I was traveling to Damascus with the authority and commission and full power of the chief priests, at midday, O King, I saw on the way a light from heaven surpassing the brightness of the sun, shining all around me and those who were traveling with me. And when we all had fallen to the ground, I heard a voice in the Hebrew dialect (Jewish Aramaic) saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for you to kick[repeatedly] against the goads [offering pointless resistance].’ And I said, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And the Lord said, ‘I am Jesus whom you are persecuting.Get up and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you[to serve] as a minister and as a witness [to testify, with authority,]not only to the things which you have seen, but also to the things in which I will appear to you,[choosing you for Myself and] rescuing you from the Jewish people and from the Gentiles, to whom I am sending you,to open their[spiritual]eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness and release from their sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified (set apart, made holy) by faith in Me.’ (Acts 26:12-18, AMP)
When and how did you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior? Perhaps your story is not as dramatic as Paul’s story - few are. That does not make it any less important. It does not mean that God’s plan for you is not important. As you meditate on, pray over, and reflect upon Paul’s salvation story, consider your own. How has your life changed since you became saved? How is God working in your life?
The Bible passage for meditation, prayer, and reflection for the week of December 10-16, 2017, is Deuteronomy 26:1-4. Deuteronomy is the last of the books of Moses. It is the final instructions for the Israelites before the enter the Promised Land, without Moses to lead them.
“Then it shall be, when you enter the land which the Lord your God gives you as an inheritance, and you take possession of it and live in it, that you shall take some of the first of all the produce of the ground which you harvest from the land that the Lord your God gives you, and you shall put it in a basket and go to the place where the Lord your God chooses to establish His Name (Presence). You shall go to the priest who is in office at that time and say to him, ‘I declare this day to the Lord my God that I have entered the land which the Lord swore to our fathers to give us.’ Then the priest will take the basket from you and place it before the altar of the Lord your God. (Deuteronomy 26:1-4, AMP)
In reading many of the Laws of Moses, we often wonder how these books and instructions are applicable to our lives today. While we are no longer required to follow many of the laws laid out by Moses for the Israelites, by reading the laws, we begin to understand the dedication and devotion we should have towards worshipping the Lord. As you meditation on, pray over, and reflect upon the verses for this week, ask yourself when you last gave thanks and praise - sincere and honest - for what the Lord has given you? All we have comes from the Lord. Show Him how thankful you are! Now!
The Bible passage for meditation, prayer, and reflection for the week of December 3-9, 2017, is Psalm 141:3-4. This psalm, written by David, was written in a time of distress. David was being chased by evil and needed the help of the Lord to persevere.
Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips [to keep me from speaking thoughtlessly].
Do not incline my heart to [consent to or tolerate] any evil thing, or to practice deeds of wickedness with men who plan and do evil; and let me not eat of their delicacies (be tempted by their gain). (Psalm 141:3-4, AMP)
This is a prayer that should constantly be on our lips! How often are we like David, being chased by evil? How often do we not even recognize that we are being chased? Television, movies, books, and media are rarely geared towards Christians. Instead, they often glorify that which is an abomination in the eyes of the Lord. As you meditate on, pray over, and reflect upon the verses for this week, consider the influences in your life. Does your guard need strengthened?
The Bible passage for meditation, prayer, and reflection for the week of November 26-December 2, 2017, is Ecclesiastes 12:8-14. The book of Ecclesiastes is believed to have been written by King Solomon. Solomon was known for his earthly and political wisdom. However, Solomon lacked a close relationship with the Lord and Godly knowledge. The book of Ecclesiastes is an attempt by Solomon to discover the meaning of life, excluding the Lord. This week’s passage is the conclusion of his search.
“Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher. “All [that is done without God’s guidance] is vanity (futility).” Furthermore, because the Preacher was wise, he still taught the people knowledge; and he pondered and searched out and arranged many proverbs. The Preacher sought to find delightful words, even to write correctly words of truth. The words of the wise are like [prodding] goads, and these collected sayings are [firmly fixed in the mind] like well-driven nails; they are given by one Shepherd. But beyond this my son, [about going further than the words given by one Shepherd], be warned: the writing of many books is endless [so do not believe everything you read], and excessive study and devotion to books is wearying to the body. When all has been heard, the end of the matter is: fear God [worship Him with awe-filled reverence, knowing that He is almighty God] and keep His commandments, for this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment, every hidden and secret thing, whether it is good or evil. (Ecclesiastes 12:8-14, AMP)
Solomon acknowledges that the Preacher is correct. Without the Lord in your life, your life is without meaning. Solomon was unable to find satisfactory meaning in anything in life without the Lord. As you meditate on, pray over, and reflect upon the verses for this week, consider your life. What is the Lord doing in your life? Are you fighting Him?